ANDERSON — Troy Taylor woke up early last week to the sound of his cellphone buzzing and quickly found a backlog of new voicemails.
The calls and emails continued throughout the day from people pledging support for the Anderson Legends, the North American Basketball Development Leagues Association franchise Taylor is prepping for its debut season.
“I enjoy that,” Taylor said. “Those are all people who want to see something positive happen here.”
The former Anderson High School and University of Evansville star has been busy for the past two weeks as he dips his toe into the waters of semi-pro basketball. But he’s been encouraged by the number of folks he’s found to lend a helping hand.
Add to their number the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers.
The franchise cut the Legends a deal on a block of 50 tickets to a March 17 game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse . The tickets will be sold for about $13 during Anderson’s inaugural game, likely on Feb. 22 against the Indianapolis Kings.
Taylor is hoping the tickets will provide a chance for area youth to experience the NBA, and he’s earmarking about 40 of the seats for kids. Those who purchase the tickets will get a VIP tour of the Fieldhouse following the game and a chance to meet some of the Pacers and visit their locker room.
In addition, the Legends will hold a drawing for 12 children under the age of 14 who will get the chance to go onto the court before the game and cheer the Pacers as they run onto the floor.
“I just want to be able to make a positive impact in the community,” Taylor said. “That’s my goal.”
The Legends will hold an open tryout Feb. 1 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Lapel Middle School.